It's like dreaming of rain drops when the foot is parched due to heat. All these thoughts. All of a sudden, he stood up. He felt his feet on the hardness of the floor beneath. Books. Luxury that could never be lived! He walked towards the washroom. The mirror introduced him to a man. Strange man he was. He looked as though he had not met another living soul in his entire life. His glasses needed a new frame. His lips were dark. Dark. Just like her hair. He felt his fingers touch the lips of the man in the mirror. The mirror shook on his touch. He left the washroom as though he remembered something. His room was grey. Scattered oddities of things. Books. Ash. Kaleidoscope. Anklet. Photographs. Posters. Papers. Papers with ink. With words. Clothes. A broken wooden ruler. A long rope. Empty glass bottles.
It was in the lost and gone ages. May be there was a time, when a soul knew to talk his heart...
".. rags of gold and a bowl of silver. Hunger for power. Thirst for lust. A country of blind men who pity them. What can we do? Shout? Cry out? Talk sense to them? Do you think these people can hear? If they could, they would have heard by now. Let the world burn. And one day, it would. There would be ash. Ash all around. I'll bathe in that pool of ash. Shout. Cry out. The world would hear me then. My voice would ring their end. The finale.."!
"Shiva", she said. Her voice soft. Yet, there was something about her voice, that would bring one back to reality, wherever they were.
"..My name is Dhruv..", he said smiling.
"I know. It's Shiva- the finale you were talking about. His dance of destruction", she replied.
"Good. Let him join me then!" , he added lazily, lying down beside where she was sitting, on the moist grasses of the football field. He did not see her. His eyes were enjoying the joy of the football game- the kids from the street were playing nearby. The unsophisticated version of football, played on the wet grounds after rain- where the soil splashed herself upon the players, each time she was hit by the ball! It was energy in its pristine forms!
"You know, I don't like your ideas about.. all these things! It's my belief and I.." She retorted, sounding offended by the way he spoke.
"I know. But if I don't tell you, how will you learn? The essence in it? Who will show you it's sheer strength? These people of the world? They are like a written code. Accepting things without understanding it's true nature? Exploring it's real potentials. That's what I do. And I promise you. The Finale- would happen. Shiva or no Shiva. And you would be beside me, to see it happening.." His eyes were closed, as he uttered these lines. As though, he visualized something no one could ever dream of seeing! The vision, made him smile!
"You would cease to dance if He joins you. I don't wish that to happen soon..", she said, looking at him. Her eyes looked angry. The hair. Even the blackness in it, appeared red. She had the most perfect lips. From all of her, it felt as though an inaudible whisper, kept saying her name to him. His eyes, met his Drishti… His Drishti.
Eyes. They only wish to see in one direction. Sometimes, when the eyes get diverted from where they usually see, the vision it sees, affects. Disturbs. It doesn't fit in. The eyes, till the time they cease to see, they curse that sight. That misfit. Abnormality is pleasant. A happy truth. The only happiness that invites no emotions. He sat on his bed. Thinking. An unheard prayer, was being sang for him. Just for him, from miles away. He still felt it's truth. He did not believe in prayer. He believed that hope was a falseness that was forced upon mankind. He believed in truth. Truth was the only truth, that existed. Like death. It was beautiful. He liked talking to people about truth. Even back then...
A cup of tea, and a dying cigarette- created odd effects in a man's mind. It made him speak, what he thought. Not one word less. Not one word more. Just those words, as he thought them! In the way he wanted them to be in...
"..I am not a great man. I am a man, who is taught not to lie", said he.
"We were all taught not to lie by hypocrites who lied to us, everyday, to keep us away from their world of lies. It's a lie that brings days and nights upon us. It's again a lie that keeps us happy each day of our life. Fire all around us. People dying everywhere. Misery. Sorrow. Hunger. Copious tears forming the oceans and seas. Yet, with a 'lie of tomorrow', we sleep with a smile upon our lips. Safe. We dream of lies. We live our lies. And still, you lie that you are not taught to lie"? Shreyas asked him. Shreyas. The only man, who understood him. The man, who spoke his language.
"I agree. But the truth in it is this, that it's a lie. And that's the only thing I am concerned about", said Dhruv.
Shreyas stared at him for a few seconds. Smiled. He said, "Your survival surprises me".
"I'm no way less surprised", Dhruv replied, and they ended up laughing- for how long, neither of them, ever knew!
There were, the faded images of the faces he'd lost the right to think about. All he was left with now were the sounds of empty bottles clinking. They wanted him to see the light, outside. His insides, cherished the darkness. It kept him alive. But he knew, that the darkness he cherished, would cease to remain if he did not visit the light outside. There was no limit to his life. A life far beyond days and nights. Like colours. Splashed by a mad painter's brush. He took the last cigarette in the pack. The smoke from it were circling around, in front of his eyes. For some strange reason, it made him think of strange things. He sat himself on the window. Sounds of life, in a fast forward, were drilling his ears. Flashes of lights- from the cars that went by on the roads. The sun being eroded away by the moon's flush of rays. The stars were beginning to rise up. Here and there. Like, birth of order from chaos. Reminded him of the moment when they had last met. If he jumped off his building, would he feel the pain of the fall? He thought and looked down, from his window. No. May be he should try the skies. But neither would take him to her. Did he want her? This was the first moment of his life, he had thought of something like that. "Did he want her"?
"..Dhruv.. I love you", she said, her eyes, sparkling like the starts of the night sky. The tears voiced the truth in her words.
"I know", he replied. He did not know how he must feel. He has never known how he must feel, sometimes. It was as though, the sadness or happiness were beneath him. He felt something more than that. He never named what that was. He was never able to. But he knew. He knew that others did not feel it. In fact, others, would never feel it.
"No. You don't. No.. Or.. ", she said, looking confused. She moved towards the window of his room. She stood there, looking at the sky above.
"Dhruv, if I ask you a question, would you tell me the truth? Or lie to me"? she said. Without looking at him.
"You know me.." he replied! He was puzzled.
"...Then tell me." She turned. Looking directly at him, she asked him, "Tell me, is the sky blue"?
He looked at her. He could not understand, why he was looking at this woman, who stood in front of him. What was it that he felt? He could not judge his emotions. He felt himself crumble in front of her. He ceased to exist. For her.
"No. It is not blue", he replied. His voice rang with a strange sound that he had never used before. She had felt it too. She kept looking at him. Her eyes, they were still glistening ... But now, it was something else. It was what she called 'hope'. In which, he never believed.
"I would love you, till my soul turns into puffs of smoke. You know that yourself. Don't you"? she asked, her voice, trembling.
He looked into her eyes. A fire in it, was turning into ice. He said, "I know you will".
"I will not ask you anything, but this. Let me go". She said, looking at him. Only that, her eyes were not looking in him.
He did not reply.
She was a mystic presence. His liking for her, he was never able to imagine, how it happened! She was so different from him. But may be, thinking about it, now.. It was because, she was real. She was Earth. Maybe this was why! Her reality. Her existence. Her emotions. They belonged somewhere, so much unlike him. May be this was why…
"I can live with the lie of your memories. But I cannot live with the truth of your existence. You are a great man. I.. I am not.. I don't deserve you". She said. She was not crying. She was not lying.
He stopped thinking. She was real. And he wanted her to remain, that way. To want her be that way meant that she should be allowed to accept only things, real! And as he listened, her voice spoke of the truth in her. The truth of her world! The truth compelled the words out of him…
"I will let you go", said Dhruv.
The first rains of the year, fell upon his face.
His eyes were closed. It looked as though, he knew every drop of that water that fell on him. He smiled, greeting his old friends. He was thinking about his other friend. His 'better version', as he called him. Why though, he wondered?
He called the number, which he had not called for a long time. He did not know why he was calling. But he..
The voice still sounded the same. His voice, however had changed. It was unsure if it should let itself being heard. Yet..
"Hello.. this is.."
"Dhruv? Are you Dhruv"? asked the other voice. There was joy in it. A joy, as of that small boy who got his lost bycycle back!
"I am… Shreyas.. I.."
"I know. It feels great to hear you", said Shreyas.
"No. To you, I wouldn't lie", said Shreyas.
"I know”, said Dhruv. And he did know it.
The silence was enjoying the gentle breeze that brought in the wet friends. And suddenly, the rain was growing louder. May be it wanted his attention back. It kept calling him. Splashing herself on him. He felt, that they were urging him to ask the question he wanted to ask.
"Shreyas.. I wanted to ask.."
"Dhrishti is fine", said Shreyas.
Dhruv. All of a sudden, it was as though something heavy had fallen off his heart. Or else, it had fallen off, long time back. But he had never realized it. There was now a strange happiness, that comes due to something called- gratitude!
"Thank you"- and he meant it.
"No Shreyas. I don't want to talk to her. I will see you if I.."
"I would be waiting for that day..", replied Shreyas.
"Bye, Dhruv. My friend..."
He closed the window and switched on the lights. He sat himself upon a chair. He took a book in his hand. He opened it. Closed again, smiling to himself. He took the photos on his bed. Walked towards the window. Opened it. Stretched out his hand and opened his palm. The memories, flew towards his old friends.. Flying away from him.. Far into the wide spread space, in between the sky and the earth.. Flying past his life...